It’s the most wonderful dreadful time of the year!
Christmas holidays are a bitter-sweet moment for mums in Kenya. Sweet – you get to remove the ‘workplace’ hat and be mommy [and wifey] for two (or more) weeks. Bitter – you have to let your nanny go for the holidays, and you’re not sure if she’ll come back.
My nanny left earlier than scheduled. She felt it was ‘crucial’ to ‘attend a funeral’ at home – with less than a day’s notice. I let her go, because she’d played those games with me before. So ‘Christmas’ came early for me and I had to let my daughter stay with her grandparents as daddy and I were still on duty.
Looking for another nanny during Christmas is like finding a needle in a haystack. But come January 1st, and it’ll be high season in Nannyland. There’s something about the Christmas holidays that house managers decide they’ve had enough and won’t let you know. Some are amazing – and return as scheduled. Some are courteous enough to tell you they won’t return so that you have time to look for someone else. From what I’ve heard, most pull a Houdini and disappear.
Others, like my friend’s nanny, decide to extend their holiday break. “She will leave on December 23rd and on December 31st when it’s time to return, she’ll say she doesn’t have bus fare. I will send it to her since I need her. Then she’ll say that there are no buses since schools have re-opened. The she will be sick. Her mum will be sick. Then on January 20th she’ll arrive with the late night bus.”
All in all, I believe you should still bless your nanny with a gift (in whatever form) when she goes for the holidays – whether or not she’ll return in January. As you see her off with that big suitcase or bag, wish her a Merry Christmas with a smile and tell her “See you in 2016!” – even though you won’t.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!!